If you’re found guilty of murder, a court must give you a life sentence. A court may decide to give a life sentence for other serious offences like rape or armed robbery.
If you’re given a life sentence it will last for the rest of your life.
If you’re ever released from prison you will spend the rest of your life ‘on licence’ in the community.
If you break licence conditions or commit another crime you can be sent back to prison.
Whole life orders
A whole life order means you will never be released from prison, except in exceptional compassionate circumstances.